The 2021 regular season is now under way, and the NFL MVP odds are already providing a terrific subplot to the new season.
For the third consecutive week we have a new favorite at the head of the money line betting after Week Five.
Matthew Stafford and then Kyler Murray each had a week in the sun but now it’s Buffalo QB Josh Allen who heads the way after leading the Bills to a 38-20 demolition of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football at Arrowhead.
Here is all you need to know about the current NFL betting odds to be the best player in the biggest league of all.
Who is favored to win the NFL MVP?
Allen got off to a slow start in 2021 as Buffalo lost its home opener to Pittsburgh. Since then though he’s been stellar, worth every cent of that $258million six-year contract extension the Bills handed him during training camp.
The result is four straight wins for the Bills – all in emphatic fashion:
- 35-0 @ Miami
- 43-21 vs Washington
- 40-0 vs Houston
- 38-20 @ Kansas City
During that hot streak Allen has tossed 11 touchdown passes and two interceptions – looking every bit a leading MVP contender. He’s back again to being the Josh Allen of 2020 – great news for Bills Mafia.
Murray meanwhile did lead Arizona to 5-0 start Sunday as the Cardinals defeated San Francisco 17-10 in the desert but he just wasn’t his normal electric self doing it. He still posted a passer rating of 104.1 in throwing for 239 yards and a score, but that just didn’t live up to what Allen would later do in KC. Kyler is now out to best odds of +650.
The other big mover this week is Chargers QB Justin Herbert. No sophomore slump for him as he threw for 398 yards and four scores in an epic 47-42 defeat of Baker Mayfield and Cleveland at SoFi. He was +1000 last week, but now in to +700 after leading L.A. to a third straight win.
Dallas signal caller Dak Prescott is also making a move. He’s now +800 from +1200 after leading the Cowboys to a fourth straight win – 44-20 vs the Giants at JerryWorld. He threw for 302 yards and three scores in another Dallas romp.
Next comes Tom Brady, who returned to showcasing his MVP credentials in a 45-17 rout of rancid Miami following a couple of iffy displays. The 44-year-old Brady’s stats were off the charts – 411 yards and five TD passes. Tom is still available at +900 – he had been +1400 before kickoff vs the Dolphins.
Aaron Rodgers – last year’s winner – is +1100 after Green Bay’s overtime win in Cincinnati, while Stafford is +1200 after he helped the Rams win in Seattle on Thursday Night Football.
Lamar Jackson is now +1600 after leading Baltimore to a terrific comeback in the 31-25 win over Indianapolis on Monday Night Football. The Ravens were down 25-9 late in the third quarter before Jackson and co roared back to win.
The other big story surrounds the preseason favorite – Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes. He produced two costly turnovers in that Sunday night loss to the Bills, and he’s now available at an unthinkable +2000 (he was +500 preseason).
Another quarterback whose hopes took a major dive this week was Seattle’s Russell Wilson. He broke a finger in the loss vs the Rams and will miss several weeks. That pretty much rules him out of the race.
The market leaders right now are as follows, along with best updated odds for each one:
- Josh Allen (QB, Buffalo Bills): +500 (Caesars, PointsBet)
- Kyler Murray (QB, Arizona Cardinals): +650 (PointsBet)
- Justin Herbert (QB, Los Angeles Chargers): +700 (DraftKings, Caesars, Resorts)
- Dak Prescott (QB, Dallas Cowboys): +800 (Unibet, SugarHouse)
- Tom Brady (QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers): +900 (DraftKings, Resorts)
- Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay Packers): +1100 (DraftKings, Caesars, Resorts)
- Matthew Stafford (QB, Los Angeles Rams): +1200 (widely available)
- Lamar Jackson (QB, Baltimore Ravens): +1600 (Caesars)
- Patrick Mahomes (QB, Kansas City Chiefs): +2000 (DraftKings, FanDuel, Resorts)
NB: All odds correct on October 12, 2021
Previous winners – the stats
Next time anybody tries to tell you the NFL is not all about the quarterback, just show them the odds to be MVP. Then show them the list of previous winners.
There is a reason this list is so one-sided – it’s based on past history and fact.
Since the Pro Football Writers of America began naming an MVP in 1975, the men under center have dominated. Thirty-two QBs have won the award outright in that time while Brett Favre shared with Barry Sanders in 1997.
Running backs are next best with 11 successes along with that Sanders share. But the decreasing value of that position is highlighted by the fact a runner hasn’t taken the award since Adrian Peterson in 2012.
In recent years – partly thanks to rule changes – it is all about the QB. They have won the award every year since Peterson and account for 17 of the last 20 winners. The last 10 winners are:
- 2011: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay)
- 2012: Adrian Peterson (RB, Minnesota)
- 2013: Peyton Manning (QB, Denver)
- 2014: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay)
- 2015: Cam Newton (QB, Carolina)
- 2016: Matt Ryan (QB, Atlanta)
- 2017: Tom Brady (QB, New England)
- 2018: Patrick Mahomes (QB, Kansas City)
- 2019: Lamar Jackson (QB, Baltimore)
- 2020: Aaron Rodgers (QB, Green Bay)
The only two players outside QB and RB to be NFL MVP in the modern era are both generational talents – potentially the greatest ever at their positions.
Linebacker Lawrence Taylor (the only defensive winner) was best of all in 1986 as he anchored the Giants D on that epic Super Bowl run. San Francisco WR Jerry Rice meanwhile was the only pass catcher to win the award one year later.
Who chooses the NFL MVP?
The NFL MVP is chosen annually by 50 sports writers – but it’s important to note when they actually make their choice.
The writers all vote for MVP at the end of the regular season – so that is all that matters. Playoff success will not count at all.
When is the NFL MVP announced?
The NFL reveals the MVP result the day before the Super Bowl each year.
That means the 2021 NFL MVP will be announced on Saturday February 5, 2022.
As you can tell, that means you need to wait quite a long time to collect your dollars should you be lucky enough to pick the right man.
It’s worth remembering though that the odds available are pretty nice – much better than the interest on a bank account right now. Good luck with your picks!